The Characteristics Of The “313” Of Imam Al-Mahdi’s (A) Army

“The Characteristics Of The “313” Of Imam Al-Mahdi’s (ATFS) Army” - By Ayatullah Dastaghaib Shirazi

You understand this, I want to narrate an incident - narrated by whom? Narrated by Ayatollah Shaheed Dastaghaib Shirazi. Ayatollah Shaheed Dastaghaib Shirazi - probably you might not know the name, the majority of you. But if I tell you one of his books, you will immediately understand this individual: Gunahan e Kabeera, Ad-dhunoob al-Kabeera, the Greater Sins, three languages, the book originally in Persian, translated into Arabic and translated into English. The Greater Sins. The book that outlines the Gunah e Kabeera, the Greater Sins in Islam starts off with shirk and then goes on.

The author of this book, Ayatollah Dastaghaib Shirazi, man of God. A man of piety, regarded as Shahid e-Mehrab because he was killed in the Mehrab, a bomb was placed and he was killed. He was called Dastaghaib because when that bomb flew off one of his hands, just like Ayatollah Khamenei, one of his hands got severed and it was lost. Eventually, it was found in some location after the explosion, somewhere in the branches of a tree.

But initially, when his body was taken, his hand was gone. So he was called Dastaghaib. "Dast" means "hand", "ghaib" means "ghaib = not there", Dastaghaib Shirazi. He was also referred to as Shaheed e-Mehrab. Shaheed, who died in the Mehrab at the time of prayers. It was at the time of the Shah when his mercenaries put the bomb and killed him. This Ayatollah Dastaghaib Shirazi, man of God in Shiraz, every Thursday, Sallu ala Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]

This Dastaghaib Shirazi every Thursday in Shiraz would have a nightly Majilis, you would have question answer sessions, he would talk. This is what we have over here. This is not something new that we are doing over here in our community, this has been going on for decades and centuries. In one of his talks, somebody comes and asks the same question, Agha In farq bin inha wa ma chi hastish? "What is the difference between them and us? There are three hundred and thirteen.

We are also individuals. We follow Ali, they follow Ali. What is the difference?" Agha instead of answering them, tells him, you know what? The same question I had, when I was a student studying in Najaf. Who is saying? Ayatollah Dastaghaib e Shirazi, saying when I was in Najaf and we were students, we had the same problem. What is the difference between them and us? They become 313, Imam Ali talks about them, names are given, places where they will come from. Ansarahum.

"Ansar" comes from the word "Misr". "Misr" in Arabic means "madina", "city". "I know the cities from which they will come. I know the localities where they will come" Imam says, "I can see them". So what is the difference?

He says: when I was a student in Najaf, the same question was plaguing me. And not just me, certain of my colleagues, you know, study students. We discussed and we had this problem. We went to our teacher who said, you know, we also had this problem. So we need to find a solution to this. So what do we do? The best person to ask is who? Imam e-Zamana. But Imam e-Zamana doesn't have a door that we knock at the door and say "Ya Imam, we have a problem". So let us go to one of the most muttaqi (pious) persons in Najaf at that time and ask him to do that a'mal by means of which he can go and he can meet Imam e-Zamana."

So they all go to this muttaqi, Ayatollah Dastaghaib e Shirazi is narrating, saying we all went to this individual "Agha we have this problem, so and so." He says this, I think this is a valid thing. Now that program was a three-day program: in the morning he had to fast, in the night, throughout the night he has to remain awake. What certain amal he needed to do, that we do not need to discuss. He said, 'Ok, I am willing to do it because it is a very important thing. We need to know. We need to get to the root. What is the difference between them and us?'

So he said, "I am willing to take it up. After a certain day, let me just mentally prepare myself and we will start." On a certain day he starts. From morning to evening he is fasting. The whole night he is staying awake. It was a three-day program. Insha'Allah, if God wills and Imam e-Zamana wanted, the Imam e-Zamana would come and meet him. So the first day the fasting went, the night in worship, full night in worship.

Next day after sehr, after namaze subh, and with the rising of the sun, he rests. The whole day, when he gets up then after that dua, ibadat, whatever the amal was. Again the second night. Now he is waiting. All these individuals, all the scholars who had gone to him, you are supposed to be the most muttaqi, most parhezgaar, most pious, most obedient to God. Most muttaqi, we want you. The first day finishes. The first night finishes, next day they reach. "Any news, any news Imam?" He says "No, no news".

The second day started: the full day in the fast. The night comes in ibadat, the next morning again they went, "Any news? The whole day yesterday you fasted and then now again the whole night. Any news?" He said "No, no". They said, 'Have patience, the third day is remaining, let's wait'. The third day goes in fast, at maghrib then they come again, "Two and a half days, any news?" He said "No news". The night again, he is in ibadat. Half at midnight, they send a servant. "Any news?" "No news." Half the night, two and a half days gone and again the half of the night. Half an hour, an hour before namaze Fajr, "Any news? Because now the third day is finishing! Any news?" 'No news'.

The Imam is not coming - is he coming? Is he not coming? Ten minutes before Fajr, something happens. Now they said, "Let us wait until fajr. Once you have fajr then we will know. At the time of Fajr they knock at his door. He opens the door weeping. Weeping. They said, "What happened, did Imam come?" "No, the Imam did not come". Weeping. "If Imam did not come, why are you crying?" He says "Imam did not come but he has given me the answer." Okay. "Imam did not come by to give you the answer, what?"

He says "It was 10, 12 minutes before namaz e-subh, the third day to finish and all of a sudden my eyes closed. I just finished namaz e shab (Tahajjud, night prayer). I was just doing my little bit of preparation for namaz e-subh and this happened." They asked, 'What happened?' He says, "All of a sudden I go into a slumber, I go to sleep. In my sleep, I am dreaming. In the dreams, Imam conveyed the message to me." "What dream did you see?" He says, "I saw myself traveling on a ship. While I was going on the ship I encountered a storm. The storm shipwrecked me. So the ship got wrecked. I was thrown into the water. I managed to hold on to one of the planks. While holding on to one of the planks I managed to reach the shore. This is what land? What place? There is no compass. How do I find where I am? In the wetness of the water I come out I am totally astounded where I am.

As I walk onto the beach, I suddenly see a group of people coming with garlands in their hands and drums beating and all making celebratory noises and they are coming towards me. I first think, are these cannibals? Are they going to take me? Are they barbarians, are they people of the jungle? What is happening? I am worried, there is no place to run: in front, this entire group is coming, behind is the water. What do I do? I said, whatever happens, let me wait. They come, they circle around me. They come to me, put the garland into my neck. They hold my hand, they start beating the drums as if I am a celebrity. I said, 'What is wrong with you? What is this? What are you doing?'

They said, "Welcome, welcome, you are our King". He says, 'This is our king? What king? What land is this?' They say, 'This is a certain land in a certain area'. I did not know about this place. He says, "But king, what are you talking about being a king." They said, "Last week our ruler passed away. He died. And we have got a custom in this land that when the ruler dies, the successor of the ruler is the first person who is outside the community and entering onto this land. You are the first person, you are our king."

Oh Masha'Allah, I am a king now. So he said, 'Take me. But where are you taking me?' 'Taking you to your palace'. 'I've got a palace?' 'You are a king, you have a palace'. So they took him to the palace. He says, 'They took me, they give me beautiful bath, beautiful royal clothes. All gold, silver beautiful. All of a sudden I am, transformed. I am brought to the darbar(court). People say, 'Hail the new king'. All those things. I am in my dream. What is happening to me? So now what has happened is this is just one trailer. There is more things coming because you have to assume not only are you a king, you are not a titular king , you will now rule this country, this land. 'So now you sit on the throne,' and I sit on the throne.

They put the crown on me. And I am just wondering, where has my life turned? They say, 'But this is not the end'. 'Is there more to this?' They say, 'Yes.' He asked, 'What is it?' They say, 'The king that passed away had a daughter and our custom is that when the new king comes, he marries this daughter.' This is good - noor ala noor. I get the kingship, I get the loyalty and I get bonuses. He asks, 'Where is this girl?' They said, 'You cannot see the girl. You will marry her. She will be your wife. After the nikah, whatever ceremony was there, you will be able to see'. He says, 'Khalas (okay) not a problem. When is the nikah ceremony?' 'Today'. 'Yes this is all fast-forward. This is the new world. The twenty-first century. Jaldi jaldi karo (do it fast)'.

The nikah takes place. Now it is nightfall. The nikah has taken place. After the nikah, they said, 'Now you can go to your wife to consummate the marriage'. He goes into the room, sees beautiful room, magnificently decorated. In the center, a beautiful, lavish bed. On the bed, seated, his wife. But he could not see her because there was a ghunghat (the veil) in front of her, you know, the signs of modesty we have in our functions now. Nowadays, the girls start moving around even if they are getting married. But in older times, they would have these veils in front out of respect and out of shame and haya.

So now she is sitting over there. He still can not see her face. Now he is waiting. From the time he has been told that, look, this is your lady you need to get married to. So he is curious, he wants to know who is this girl, how beautiful she is. I've been graced, this noor ala noor ala noor (light upon light....). And so now he locks the door. He goes slowly to the lady.

Little endearments in the beginning, Salaam, Phoolan kalam, he goes and sits next to her. He says, 'If I have your permission. Can I have a look at you?' She says, 'You do not need to ask me permission, you are my husband. You are my Shariah husband, do that'. He says I touch the veil to lift it all of a sudden somebody knocks at the door. 313...! I turn and I say, 'Who is it?' He says, 'Can you please open the door?' So I open the door. I see somebody standing. He says, 'What is it?'

He says, 'I have come to announce to you that your Imam has come and he wants you to come'. He says, 'Imam has come? I have been waiting for the Imam. All my life, I have been saying Allahumma ajjil waliye kal faraj, Ajjalallah ta'ala faraja shareef. He has come?' He says, 'He wants you'. 'Two minutes, two minutes. I want to have a look bana.' Sawar thi wait karuchu( i am waiting since morning). He closes thee door. He goes back again. As he touches the veil, again there is a knock. He says, 'Now who?' He says, 'Me, the same person.' He opens the door, 'Now what? I said, I am coming'. He says, 'Imam wants you'. He says, 'Give me a minute. I just want to look, I just want look'. He closes the door, he comes back again. As he comes back again, this is Ayatullah Dastaghaib, not me. He says again he touches, as he is about to [touch the veil] there is a knock again.

He says, 'Who is it?' 'It is me'. 'Now what?' 'Come open the door first, get up from the bed'. So he gets up from the bed, opens the door. 'Now what is it?' He says, 'The Imam wants you now'. He says, 'Give me a minute, I am coming'. He says, 'OK'. He says as I was about to close the door, a thought came into my mind. Baba 40 years of my life I spent calling for the Imam, Ajjalallah ta'ala faraja shareef. Allahumma ajjil waliye kal faraj. 40 years he did not come. Now, at this point, for a minute, I cannot be left alone. He has come and he is calling me. He says this thought crossed into my mind and my eyes opened.

He says, I got the message. The Imam was saying, 'You want to be part of my global revolution, you have to give top priority to me, not to anybody else in this world'.

The 313 people will be of such level that even at the time of lifting the veil from the newlywed wife, they will sacrifice when the Imam comes. When the Imam comes, we leave everything. We rush to the Imam. If you are able to give us superiority over everything and every individual on this earth, you will become three hundred and thirteen.